With Josh
Hazlewood’s subtle alterations in speed, length and angles while bowling, you never know what’s in store.

His run-up, load-up and release, in perfect harmony, proved to be the game-changer for Chennai Super Kings as it restricted Sunrisers Hyderabad to 134 for seven and went on to win by six wickets to ensure Playoffs qualification in their IPL clash at Sharjah on Thursday.

With
two runs required off three balls, CSK skipper M.S. Dhoni dispatched paceman Siddharth Kaul over mid-wicket for a rousing six to deliver the winning blow.

Earlier,
Ruturaj Gaikwad – all about footwork, balance and timing – smacked Bhuvneshwar Kumar over mid-wicket for a six. It was a display of excellent batting on a sluggish pitch where a few deliveries kept low.

As it happened

Bhuvneshwar
is not at his best in the IPL and Faf du Plessis smashed him over wide long-on as the CSK openers got up and running. The South African batter moves around the crease, goes back to use the depth of it and also dances down the track when required; off-setting the bowlers.     

Ruturaj
(45 off 38) fell to seamer Jason Holder, while attempting to clear the in-field. Moeen Ali promised much, but played on to leg-spinner Rashid Khan. 

Holder
made inroads even as the winning line was in sight for CSK. Suresh Raina fell to a yorker. And du Plessis (41 off 36) miscued a pull.

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But
then, when the intrepid Ambati Rayudu drove Kaul to cover fence and then clubbed Bhuvneshwar over mid-wicket for the maximum, it opened the winning door for CSK. And Dhoni shut it on Sunrisers.

In
the first half, Hazlewood delivered telling blows with his stump-to-stump bowling and variations. He
dismissed influential opener Jason Roy, after CSK elected to field, with a delivery that moved away, extracted a false shot from Abhishek Sharma with a straighter delivery and had Abdul Samad slicing a widish yorker to point.

Dwayne
Bravo took out Williamson, who played across one that nipped back.

Saha
(44 off 46), who had pulled and off-driven Deepak Chahar for sixes, was another batsman who succumbed to the playing-across-the-line malice. Ravindra Jadeja was the bowler on this occasion. CSK
then closed in like a hungry pack.

WHAT THEY SAID

Josh Hazlewood, Player of the Match: I put in a lot of hardwork and learnt a lot every game. Getting Roy was a big wicket, and it was good to put the pressure back on them early. The wicket offered a little bit, it was on the slower side and a little low as well. We are happy we are applying whatever we are doing in the practice.

MS Dhoni, CSK captain: It means a lot, because the last time, we said we wanted to come back strong. We are known for that and there was a lot at stake. The boys did well to keep the momentum going, and they’ve taken responsibilities to keep all departments of the game in balance so the players and the support staff get the credit.

Kane Williamson, SRH skipper: Didn’t get enough runs. It wasn’t an easy surface. We showed a fighting spirit in the last quarter with the ball. We need 10-15 extra runs with the bat though and we need to make those small changes. We are back to the drawing board. Although every match is about the W or the L against your name, you do look at the growth of the team. This season has been a bit disjointed given it was played in two halves, but we’ll look to grow and build some momentum.

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